The chaos of this week's May Day riots - or M1 2ko1 protests in
activist speak - extended far beyond a few broken shop windows. In fact,
the activists have delivered an ineptly targeted own goal.
Activists groups may have run rings around global corporations in
cyberspace, but all M1 2ko1 has gone to show is that many direct action
groups have a lot to learn about managing terrestrial media.
Despite efforts by various online publications to explain the agenda -
including some eloquent rhetoric from that well-know brand of
anti-capitalist Naomi Klein - very few readers of print media will have
a clue about the real aims and objectives of the protestors.
The sheer amorphous breadth of activity, which encompassed causes from
environmentalism, developing world debt, animal rights, child labour,
anarchism, to opposition to multinationals, ensured that any serious
threat to the reputation of corporate targets became lost in the crowd.
Add to this the potent threat of violence, and the arguments against
global capitalism were relegated to the cutting room floor.
Direct action has posed a serious threat to corporate reputation in the
past, but the real threat from groups such as Greenpeace comes from
their targeted approach and finely honed message.
The corporate targets of this week's action should breath a sigh of
The damage done to property and goods is far easier to repair than the
effect of a well-vocalised and thought out attack on reputation would
have been. Global capitalism lives to see another day.